When the kids were small we pounded it into their heads to share.
Let your sister have a turn. Give your brother one of your toys. It’s okay if she wears your hat this time.
We still harp on them to share. It’s a daily thing.
Let him look at your new app. One of you clears the table, the other rinses the dishes. Split up the cookies evenly.
It’s maddening, how much I’ve heard myself reminding them to share over the years. It’s maddening for them to be expected to share so much.
It’s the same with me. I can be selfish. I cringe when my husband uses my toiletry items. When he sits next to me on the sofa, sometimes it’s too close and I have to move. At dinnertime, I notice that he took the piece of meat that I wanted.
My husband is better at these types of sharing than me. He is more generous with himself, his space, his things at home. But he is more selfish than I am in other ways.
We tell each other to be more generous. For instance, he reminds me that we have to share the furniture sometimes.
The message of sharing is that relationships are more important than things; things are temporary, consumable. Relationships must be nurtured, strengthened, cultivated. We shouldn’t be selfish with things, because they will go away. They are not meant to survive forever. We will always have things to share, so you might as well get used to giving them away. People are worth more than things; behave accordingly.
God has shared his whole creation with us, including his people and his son. He promises to share his home with us after this temporary one has gone away. His is the ultimate example of sharing, of showing that relationships are far more than mere things. He has so much to give, infinitely more than we have to give to our loved ones and even strangers. And he gives it away freely, without a thought. His sharing shows us that we are worth far more than things. We are made in his image, so we are meant to share in all things, too: our toys, our time, our spot on the sofa.
I don’t think it’s maddening for God to share with us. I think he loves to share what he has, and what he has done. He created this beautiful world for us to enjoy and to use. Furthermore, he loves it when we share with others what he has given to us. It’s his plan, this spreading his gifts and his wealth among people. He wants everyone to have all of his gifts, right up to the gift of salvation through Jesus’ blood on the cross. Ultimately, he wants to share his home with all of us. All.
And somehow, knowing this makes sharing my spot on the couch just a little bit easier.
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. Acts 4:32 (NIV)
This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 3:6 (NIV)